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MSD's Keytruda with Pfizer's Inlyta beats Sutent in most common kidney cancer

Published on 19/10/18 at 11:01am

MSD has unveiled new Phase 3 data on its blockbuster anti-PD-1 cancer therapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab) as part of a combination, this time with Pfizer’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor Inlyta (axitinib) as a first-line treatment for the most common kidney cancer, advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC), showing that the combo met both its primary endpoints.

The data revealed, according to an interim analysis by the independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC), that the Keytruda/Inlyta  combo demonstrated statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements in overall survival (OS) and progression free survival (PFS) compared to Pfizer’s Sutent (sunitinib).

Additionally, the combo also met its secondary endpoint of objective response rate (ORR) with “significant improvements” compared to Sutent. Furthermore, all of these results remained consistent regardless of PD-L1 expression and across all risk groups, and the safety profile of the combination was found to be consistent with previous studies.

“This marks the first time that combination treatment with an anti-PD-1 therapy has achieved the dual primary endpoints of overall survival and progression-free survival as first-line therapy in advanced renal cell carcinoma,” commented Dr Roger M Perlmutter, President at MSD Research Laboratories. “Fewer than 10% of those diagnosed with advanced renal cell carcinoma survive for five years, and hence there is significant need for improved therapies for this disease. We are very grateful to the investigators and patients for their involvement in this important study, the results of which will be filed with global regulatory authorities in the near future.”

Full results of the study are due to be presented at an upcoming medical meeting and submitted to regulatory authorities around the world.

Matt Fellows

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